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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Matt Kemp injures hamstring in Dodgers' 6-3 loss to Brewers

The center fielder, who had just come off the disabled list, leaves game after scoring in the first inning. Clayton Kershaw is roughed up in loss.

May 30, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez

The Dodgers survived the 15 days they were without Matt Kemp this month.

Can they survive 15 more?

That was the question the Dodgers were asking themselves Wednesday night, as Kemp reinjured his left hamstring only a day after returning from the disabled list.

Kemp was injured scoring from first base on a first-inning double by Andre Ethier in the Dodgers' 6-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

He sounded convinced he was headed back to the disabled list.

"It feels worse than the first time," said Kemp, who will undergo an MRI exam Thursday.

Kemp was adamant that he didn't come back prematurely.

"It happens in sports," he said. "It happens when you're fast."

Kemp laughed.

But behind the smile there was pain.

Manager Don Mattingly said he visited Kemp in the clubhouse after he sent Tony Gwynn Jr. to play center field in Kemp's place in the second inning.

"He wasn't in good shape," Mattingly said. "I feel horrible for Matt because I'll tell you, it's killing him."

With Kemp down again, a sense of impending doom came over Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers dropped three consecutive games for the first time this season. The ballpark was scantily populated. Clayton Kershaw (4-3) was charged with five runs and eight hits in 52/3 innings.

About the only consolation was that the San Francisco Giants also lost and remained 51/2 games back of the Dodgers in the National League West.

Mattingly said his team was deflated. The Dodgers were 9-5 with Kemp on the disabled list and thinking they were returning to full strength.

"Obviously, we're going to have to regroup again," Mattingly said. "At this point, buckle up. Nobody's going to feel sorry for us."

Kemp first strained the hamstring May 5 in Chicago. He continued playing until he pulled up running down the first base line against the Colorado Rockies on May 13.

He landed on the disabled list the next day, a move that ended at 399 his consecutive games streak, which led the major leagues..

He isn't the only injured Dodger.

Starting pitcher Ted Lilly was put on the disabled list Tuesday because of shoulder inflammation.

Second baseman Mark Ellis underwent an emergency leg operation May 19. He is expected to be sidelined for at least two months.

Third baseman Juan Uribe hasn't played in two weeks because of a wrist injury. There is no timetable for his return.

Even Mattingly had to receive medical treatment, as he strained his right calf working out Wednesday afternoon. Unable to leave the dugout, Mattingly had pitching coach Rick Honeycutt make pitching changes.

The only Dodger reporting marked improvement is left fielder Juan Rivera, who resumed a minor league rehabilitation assignment with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.

Rivera could be activated as early as Friday.

The Dodgers overcame the absences of key players this month but couldn't do so Wednesday.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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